Show Up!

“Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, ‘Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here,on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs.
 He’s on his way! He’ll save you!’ ”–Isaiah 35:4 (The Message Translation)

God show up, show us that you are here! Too many days, we look around and wonder where you are. So much hate. So much evil. So much war. Not enough peace. 

The world is suffering! The world is broken! Where are you? Come and piece it back together. Show us the power of your love. Put all things right again and redress all the wrongs.

There are days that it feels like we are continually journeying down the lenten weary road. Join us on this Advent road. Remind us that Christ comes as Emmanuel: God with us, as you promise to never leave us or forsake us. 

The cries of this precious holy infant pierce a dark world. Those cries awaken a deaf world to the reality that you are here. And you gave your Son as a gift to all of us. This Son who comes to shine light in the darkness, joy in the midst of sorrow and so much more.

Take us to the manger. Show us that you are here.

Take us to the wisemen as they present gifts to this newborn king and show us once again that you are here.

God, continue to show up in the ways we don’t always see or hear. 

God, show up and bring peace and healing to this broken messed up world! 

Show up here!

Set the World Free

“It was like a dream come true when you freed us from our bondage and brought us back to Zion!”-Psalm 126:1 (The Passion Translation)

How many are yearning for this dream to come true?

Immigrants seeking safety in the land of so called freedom.

Friends of different nationalities afraid to leave their houses because of the color of their skin.

Nonsense walls being built by leaders who think walls and division are the answer.

My heart is bursting with so much anger.

Why?

Why can’t we seek freedom? Seek peace for all God’s beloved?

A child born in a meager manger 

To bring hope to all God’s children.

A holy child who unbinds the chains 

and sets us free

by his life, death, and resurrection.

In our broken world

I cry out

Messiah,

Stir up your power

And set the world free!

Strength in our Story

“See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”–Isaiah 40:10 (NRSV) 

I grew up in a household of girls (my mom,sister and I). Dad was the only male in the house. Dad was a wrestler. He wrestled all through high school and college. I think he wanted a boy so he could teach that young man how to wrestle. Instead my sister and I quickly learned the ins and outs of wrestling. 

There were many nights we could be found wrestling on the living room floor until Mom would yell “Someone is going to get hurt.” I treasure those times together because dad taught my sister and I a lot about wrestling. Even to this day, I remember what he taught me and love watching high school and college wrestling. (WWE, now that is a different story).

With wrestling, one must have strength in order to leverage their opponent. Strength is something that we all yearn to have. Not just muscle strength but strength in our bodies, minds, hearts etc. 

Growing up, there were many times I wished that my strength would change things for our family. I desperately wanted Mom’s illness to be cured. I desperately yearned for my parent’s to be back together. I wished that mental illness was not a part of my story; part of our story as a family. 

It took me 18 years to tell our story as I kept it tightly locked in my heart until then. I saw the stigma that came with the illness and was afraid to tell others that part of our story. Yet the reality is that mental illness is a gigantic part of my story. It has made me who I am today.

I have learned that strength means telling our story. Strength means holding onto this part of my story and loving my mom for exactly who God created her to be. Strength means helping to break the stigma. It has not been easy but I have grown and become stronger along the way.

That strength comes from our God who is mighty to save. That strength comes from our God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. That strength comes from our God who has given me the strength to stir up my own power in the midst of a broken messed up world. 

Sunday Blessings 234 and 235

(1) Fun mail!!

(2) Being told you are an asset. What a gift those words were to me! 🙂

(3) Decorating at church. AM was such a great little helper.

(4) WS and DB working on my kitchen. Cupboards have started going in.

(5) Luna coming home from the vet.

(6) Fun mail! PA sending me beautiful ornaments for my Nativity collection. I was so surprised!

(7) An anonymous person paying for Luna’s spay.

(8) Bohemian Rhapsody with KS

(9) The Lion King dance production with LZ.

(10) Watching KS and QS perform along with many other dancers from FLC!

(11) Free surprise!

(12) Movie Theater popcorn

(13) Chili from WS

(14) AA telling me how much she likes the song Joy to the Lord (read: Joy to the World).

(15) FH telling me all about the big fish he caught yesterday.

(16) EF and BF chatting with me and telling me all about today’s Sunday School lesson.

(17) A new kitchen!!

(18) Cookie baking with LZ

(19) An awesome SS program practice!!

(20) Texting with my faves!

(21) The cookbook Magnolia Table

(22) A great Upper Missouri conference gathering

(23) Kiddos loving looking at pics of Luna

Crying out in the Wilderness

A homeless man stands on the corner
Sign in hand
Asking for help

“A voice crying out in the wilderness”

A leader of our world
Thinks the answer
Is to put up a wall

“A voice crying out in the wilderness”

Imperfect people
Uttering words
That hurt others

“A voice crying out in the wilderness”

Friends fearful
To leave their houses
Because of their skin color
Or their sexuality.

“A voice crying out in the wilderness”

Do we hear these voices?
Or do we ignore them?

Lord, help us to prepare our hearts
To make our paths straight
To hear every voice
Crying out in the wilderness.

Standing on the Balance Beam

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “balance.” We would love to have you join us.

She gracefully steps onto the balance beam. Only a few inches between her and the floor. One small bobble and all maybe lost. It takes a lot of concentration to make sure she is able to score well on this aparatus.

The music begins. She tumbles across the mat. Leaping and flipping from one end to the other. Not too much power or she goes out of bounds and loses some points. A few minutes of gracefulness as she flies across that floor hoping to score a perfect ten.

She rubs her hands together and grabs hold of the bars. Flying through the air across one bar to the other. One small slip and things are lost.

I love watching gymnastics…men’s and women’s. It amazes me how much balance each aparatus takes.

Robbed of Joy

Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings!”–Malachi 3:8

I open the newspaper. I turn on the radio or television. The news is filled with such negativity. Hate spewed words. I don’t know about you but I often feel robbed. Robbed of truth (What exactly is truth these days?). Robbed of my joy. Robbed of happiness. Robbed of peace.

One doesn’t have to look far to see the world robbing one another. Children robbed and stolen from their parents because of where they were born. Outsiders robbed of hope. Individuals robbed because of the color of their skin.

It continually feels like the world is being robbed. But what if we treated each other with love and respect? What if we remembered that Jesus came into the world to turn it upside down? To bring about peace, joy and love in a broken messed up world!

The cries of this holy child who pierces the darkness and the silence. Whose cries proclaim the reign of a king; a king who comes for each and every one of us. This holy one whose cries herald the coming promises of hope, joy and love. This one who is robbed himself and crucified on a cross for our sins.

And on that cross, he breaths his last breath. Three days later, the women come to the tomb and find it empty. A solid reminder that life not death has the final word. Our king, our Messiah, Emmanuel; God with us, has not been robbed away from us. His legacy lives on when we help others to see that honesty, love, joy, peace, patience and kindness are what we are to share with one another.

For a weary world rejoices when this king is born that silent night in a manger in Bethlehem. A king who comes for all the world to proclaim. A king who was an immigrant in his own right. A king who understands what it feels like to not be accepted. A king who overcomes it all and promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Father, Forgive Them!

The world boils over with anger.
Words spoken in haste.
Hate filled evil words.
Words that often need
to be taken back.

“Father,
Forgive them
For they know
not what they are doing.”

Anger fueled
By unkind hearts
and evil words.

“Father, forgive them
For they know
Now what they are doing.”

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, word made flesh!
Come, with your own righteous anger.

Calm the world’s unrighteous anger.

Bring about everlasting peace
peace that only you can bring.

Peace that comes
only through the birth
of a holy child
whose cries pierce the darkness
and bring about hope, peace and joy
in a broken angry world.

Unwind the Roots

The roots grab hold and take hold; twisting and winding their way around the root of the plant. The roots plunge into the soil and often it is impossible to pull them out. The roots twisting and winding their way are how the world around me feels. Bound by a world of injustice, hatred and evil!

Evil takes hold. Hatred falls from our mouths and often roots itself where it is not wanted. Grief has a way of taking hold and rooting itself in our hearts too. Just this past year, grief has wound its way around my heart as I have lost friend, after friend, after friend. I am working my way through pulling and weeding the roots that are wrapped around my heart in the midst of grief. It seems these roots are bound so tightly and I wonder if I will ever be able to release them.

So as we walk to the manger and to the birth of Jesus, I find myself asking Jesus to take hold in the hearts of the world. There is so much violence. There is so much hatred. There is so much war. There is just so much that needs to be removed from our world.

Yes, there are glimpses of hope. But often those glimpses are overshadowed by the deep roots that have infiltrated our world. These deep roots that are impossible to pull out and remove.

I find myself turning to Jesus; the hope on which all is found; through his blood and righteousness. I cry out, Jesus root love into our hearts. Jesus plant the seeds of hope. Unwind the roots from evil. Root peace, kindness and justice into our lives and into this broken world.

Unwind the roots….Bring forth the bright morning star!

Sprout Forth

“When Moses went into the tent of the covenant[a] on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds.”–Numbers 17:8

Sprout=”to grow, spring up, or come forth as if a sprout” or “to send out new growth”

Seeds fall
Into the earth
To bring forth
new life.

Yet no rain comes
Dry rocky terrain
The Earth cracks

A barren dessert
Searching for new life
for growth.

Lord
Send forth rain
Everlasting life
That brings about
new life
In a broken world.

Sprout hope
Sprout love
Sprout peace
Sprout new beginnings